Cats execute late to beat Vanderbilt 74-67

01/13/2018 06:31 PM

For the second game in a row, Quade Green didn’t not play along with Tai Wynyard and Jarred Vanderbilt. Vanderbilt warmed up with the team and looked loose and ready to play, but Coach Cal said its best for him to play in front of a home crowd in Rupp. It looks like that may happen when they play Florida this upcoming Saturday January 20th.

This game was all about execution, as the Cats held the Commodores to only 25 percent from the field in the first half while the Cats shot 50 percent. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander led all score in the first half with 10 points. He seemed to gain confidence after every made basket and that’s big for UK because they are short-handed at the guard position without Quade Green. The Cats were solid in the first half, leading Vandy 36-27.

In the second half, UK started to dial in as a team being patient on offense and making big stops at crucial moments. Vanderbilt did get hot in the second half and started to hit three-pointers for a total of five, but took the lead 56-55 for the first time with 7:58 left. It seemed like the Cats took it personal after giving up the lead and started to execute on both sides of the court. Applying good pressure on the ball in the 2-3 zone caused Vandy to rush shots and make passes that were not timely. On the offensive side, UK started to attack the rim and be very patient in setting up plays. It seemed that Coach Cal wanted the ball in Shai’s or Knox’s hand late in the game. The two combined for 39 of the Cats’ 74 points. Knox had a team-high 22 points and Shia Gilgeous-Alexander added 17 points playing 39 minutes for the second game in a role.

Overall, it was a solid road win for UK, as they’re now 12-4 and 4-1 in conference play. The Cats next game is on the road facing a tough South Carolina team that is now 11-6.

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